Plainville, MA – Guardian Angel As lived up to his billing in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot as he led every step of the way en route to an impressive victory, setting a new track record in the process.
Tim Tetrick wasted no time putting Guardian Angel As on the point, seating everyone else in the process before he hit the quarter in :26.4. Tetrick then slowed down the pace in the second panel to :28.3, forcing an outer flow that brought Weslynn Dancer (David Miller), La Grange A (Andy Miller) and Mambo Lindy (Drew Monti).
The field made its way up the backside and Weslynn Dancer eventually drew even with Guardian Angel As before they hit three-quarters in 1:22.4. There Tetrick asked his hors and he shifted gears and opened up by a length. Down the lane, Tetrick reminded Guardian Angel As his work wasn’t quite finished and he tapped the wheel disk a couple times more and the trotter closed it out on his own, winning by a 1 1/4 in 1:51.3.
The time was a new track record for aged trotting horses, besting the standing mark of 1:53.4 set by Kodak Lindy in 2016 and was only one-fifth of a second off the all-time trotting mark of 1:51.2 set by JL Cruze in the inaugural edition of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot back in 2017.
Guardian Angel As ($3) has now won five out of his last six races and the winner’s share of the purse boosted his 2019 earnings to $312,934 for owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson. Anette Lorentzon trains Guardian Angel As.
Two races before that track record breaking performance, Shartin N put on a show of her own when she broke two standing Plainridge records in the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace.
Once again the hot-handed Tetrick vaulted Shartin N to the front and took that position unopposed and from there she was simply a pacing machine. As Tetrick had his hands full with his mare on the bit, Shartin N went to the quarter in :26.3, the half in :55.1 and the three-quarters in 1:22.1 with the field just trying to keep pace.
When they made their way around the last turn you could see Shartin N starting to pull away. Tetrick was sitting statuesque without urging the mare at all while she was accelerating on her own towards the record book. Shartin N pulled away to a 1-3/4 length margin and was wrapped up at the wire in 1:49.1.
Shartin N broke the aged pacing mare record of 1:50 set by Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) just three races earlier on the card and also the 14-year-old, all-time pacing mark of 1:49.2 set by Maltese Artist in 2005.
It was the 10th win in a row and 11th of the season for Shartin N ($2.20) and it raised her 2019 earnings to $655,765 for owners Rich Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and her driver Tim Tetrick. Jim King Jr. trains the 2018 Dan Patch Award winning mare.
“It was a great day of racing at Plainridge Park and it was good to see such a strong turnout of racing fans throughout the facility,” said Steve O’Toole, director of racing at Plainridge Park. “It was also great to see Massachusetts native Rich Poillucci and Shartin N win the Barton and also Massachusetts natives Jim Winske, Paul Kelley and Steve Michaels finishing second with The Veteran in the Spirit.”